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Thread: Sous Vide Setup

  1. #1
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    Sous Vide Setup

    Lately, I've been contemplating setting up my Heatermeter to allow for sous vide cooking. I finally broke down last night and came up with an enclosure design to house a 25 Amp SSR, a keystone jack for the "control" input from the HM, and an input and output for the AC power. I'm using it to simply control a slow cooker that I never use.

    I also included an LED on the front panel to indicate when the system is getting "control" voltage (turning on the output).

    The SSR is mounted so the bottom is exposed to allow for a bit of passive cooling, and is held to the case with 4 M6x1 Capscrews. The screw heads are covered with a printed "cap" that double as feet for the unit.

    Here's some pics.





    I've been letting it run the past few hours, and after about an hour of locking itself in, it's maintaining incredibly accurately.

    I'll post the STL files if anyone is interested, but I need to make a few tweaks first. I meant to install a fuse holder, but I put the hole in the wrong place, and it interfered with the mounting screws.

    Cheers,
    W

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    neat idea....did you add/think about adding a pump to circulate? I know some have mentioned the hot spots without one. Are you using multiple probes or just one for the water temp?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidNP View Post
    neat idea....did you add/think about adding a pump to circulate? I know some have mentioned the hot spots without one. Are you using multiple probes or just one for the water temp?
    A pump is really not needed with a slow cooker, as it tends to heat the volume fairly evenly. I did some checks at different points in the water volume and found no hot/cold spots. I'm just using one probe for the water temp. Since sous vide involves vacuum sealing the food, there's no way to monitor it's temp. The idea is, if the water is a certain temp, then eventually the food will be the same.

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    TVWBB Guru Steve_M's Avatar
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    How's the heat? Those SSRs get quite hot and generally need a large heatsink.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_M View Post
    How's the heat? Those SSRs get quite hot and generally need a large heatsink.
    Not bad at all, Steve. I've been playing close attention to it, and while it got slightly warm during the heat up phase, it never got any warmer than the heatermeter does. I think if I were running a few submersion heaters to heat a larger volume, then it would probably need some active cooling, or at least a proper heatsink. Since it's got up to temp, and running only 20% (2 seconds out of 10), there's no heat at all.

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    This is awesome. I've been using my HM to do a "ghetto" sous vide. I put a temp probe below and above the food in a pot. I regulate the temp using the ol' calibrated hand on the dial.

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    TVWBB Honor Circle Bryan Mayland's Avatar
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    Yeah I totally missed seeing this yesterday. That is amazing and very professional looking. Do you find the resolution of the output to be sufficient (10% at a time) in the "long pid" mode or should I more seriously consider taking up coding 1% output resolution to that mode?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Mayland View Post
    Yeah I totally missed seeing this yesterday. That is amazing and very professional looking. Do you find the resolution of the output to be sufficient (10% at a time) in the "long pid" mode or should I more seriously consider taking up coding 1% output resolution to that mode?
    Thanks Bryan. I wouldn't change a thing. I did a test yesterday, and after about an hour of "finding" itself, it settled in at 20% and never varied more than 0.1-0.2 of set point. A PID adjustment maybe for the initial overshoot?


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    Oh yeah, another tip. Never NEVER try to drill a probe hole in the top of your slow cooker lid if it's made of tempered glass, even with a proper glass drill bit. I found this out the hard way.


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    TVWBB Guru Steve_M's Avatar
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    Woops!

    Yeah, tempered glass can't be drilled or cut after it's been tempered, only before. Makes a fun "boom" sound, though!

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